Memory Loss and How to Prevent It

Some cognitive functions are stable as we age:
immediate memory, object recognition, autobiographic memory, vocabulary and the meaning of things, emotional processing and memory of how to do things.

Other cognitive functions decline some with age:
how fast we think, how much we can think about at the same time, how efficiently we get new information into our long term memory storage, remembering names and facts without cues, and remembering things we need to do in the future (a calendar helps!)

Memory disorders that are not part of normal aging include:
consistent pattern of poor memory, difficulty functioning on a day-to-day basis because of difficulty remembering or doing things that used to be easy.

What is dementia?

The loss of cognitive abilities sufficient to affect functioning in everyday life.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

It is a type of dementia with a gradual onset and a progressive course; the first signs are usually poor memory, but it progresses to involve other kinds of cognitive abilities over time.

How can you slow down the normal age-related changes in your memory?

What’s good for your body is good for your brain.

  • Low fat diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low calories. Diets low in calories have been shown to extend life. But don’t go overboard, poor nutrition can lead to poor memory and cognition.
  • Exercise boosts the brain as well as the body.
  • Take control of your personal health.
  • Get regular check-ups, ask questions and know what medications you are taking and what they do to your body

Do people of Japanese descent age differently?

Japanese culture values strong family ties and multi-generational connections. Wisdom gained through life experience needs to be shared with the younger generation. Stress contributes to the negative effects of aging. Philosophical acceptance of things as they are helps to reduce stress, so does valuing kindness and low aggression in relationships, as well as the traditional Japanese diet.

What is the Kame Project?

The Kame Project began in 1990 for the purpose of investigating the relationship between lifestyle and aging. Results of the research to date indicate a traditional Japanese diet and lifestyle contribute to aging successfully.